With December comes a string of festivals that are best enjoyed in the cool Delhi winters. But amid the slew of dance, music and theatre performances, some festivals assume a more serious tone than others as they help make people aware of certain social issues that not only need dicussion but acceptance as well. One such festival is the two-day Delhi International Queer Theatre and Film Festival (DIQTFF) that is currently on in the Capital.
Organised by Impulse New Delhi, AIDS Healthcare Foundation-India Cares and Harmless Hugs, the theatre and film festival began on December 10 and is being held at NCUI Auditorium. The line-up includes films, documentaries and theatre and dramas based on the lives and issues, ups and downs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) communities. It also features seminars/sessions by major influencers, all geared to connect, sensitise and invite people from not just the community but outside it as well, to participate in the discussion and human rights movement.
The DIQTTF is a platform for sensitising the general public and the communities that are facing issues such as IPC section 377 which came into force in 1862 defines unnatural offences.
Celebrities such as Kalki Koechlin and Kunal Kapoor have joined the cause as well, with both sharing video messages in support of the festival. Connecting the movement with her film Margherita with a Straw, Koechlin said, “The response for Margerita with a Straw was very encouraging for me to see in our country. I really found that people were moved by the film, understood the film and it went across generations, not only to young, educated or rebellious people. I hope that there are plenty more movies and plays on this subject. The more there are the more awareness will be created and the more society will understand the norms of the LGBT community.”
Kunal Kapoor said, “It is a movement that everybody should support because at the end of the day it is about equality. Any opposition to the rights of the LGBT community is the opposition to humanity as it is fundamental rights to choose whom you want to love. Sooner or later whoever is opposing this will have to come around, its only a matter of time,” adding that “art and cinema are really powerful mediums because it has the ability to reach out to so many people, it is important to raise issues that are plaguing our society.”
Some of the presentations at the DIQTFF include In the Mood for Love, An Open Wind, Underneath the Makeup, That’s my boy, My Child is Gay, Boy Meets Boy, Pehchan by Asmita Theatre, and Libaas by Saitan Theatre Group.
“This theatre and film festival is definitely a good platform for the entire LGBT community. As the stigma, fear for the society, taboo is very much high in the LGBTQI community because of their sexual orientation. May be such kind of theatre and film festivals will give a ray of hope to the people who are in the closet,” Bismaya Kumar Raulo, programme coordinator, Impulse, said in a statement.